Happy New Year!

To all CQ reader — Whiskey, the First Mate, and I wish you a happy, healthy, and blessed New Year. 2004 has been such a terrific year for us at Captain’s Quarters, thanks to all of you.
Stay safe, and see you in 2005! In fact, if you tune in the Northern Alliance Radio Network tomorrow at noon CT, you’ll hear us live for our New Year’s Day broadcast.
UPDATE: I don’t know if this is one of the reasons why I’ll be thankful for 2004, but at least I only came in second for this award.
UPDATE: I’m even happeier coming in second here.

Mrs. Anthrax Wants Your Sympathy

The lawyers working for Saddam’s ghoul squad wants the court to show some mercy to one of their clients, Dr. Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash. Dr. Ammash is better known to Americans by her nickname, Mrs. Anthrax, for her work in developing biological weapons for the genocidal regime:

The jailed Iraqi microbiologist dubbed Mrs Anthrax is seriously ill and should be freed, an Iraqi lawyer has said.
Dr Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash is dying from cancer, according to Badih Aref – who represents imprisoned former Iraqi deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz.
The lawyer said his client had asked him to help Dr Ammash, who was in “terrible pain”.

Ammash reportedly had breast cancer before the fall of Saddam but had been in remission. Now her lawyers want her freed to get treatment for a relapse, in order to free her from her pain.
Well, at the risk of seeming somewhat callous — tough s**t.
While Ammash worked overtime for Saddam, he used her weapons and development to kill thousands of women and children. Her work killed thousands of Iranian soldiers as well, and had we not stopped Saddam, eventually her bugs would have found their way towards Americans. Her entire life’s work aimed to spread disease and pestilence.
So now she’s dying, and dying painfully, according to her lawyer — while she has access to doctors through her American captors. Her victims died pretty painfully, too, and the Iraqis made sure that she had plenty of them. She would have killed as many Americans and Israelis as she could, and as painfully as she could as well.
Let her get medical attention in prison. It’s more mercy than she or the animals she served ever showed anyone.

Did Abu Marwan Talk?

A few days after the capture of Abu Marwan, the leader of an insurgent affiliated with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Coalition forces captured almost 50 terrorists in Saddam Hussein’s hometown:

U.S. troops rounded up 49 suspected guerrillas near Saddam Hussein’s hometown on Friday, a day after Iraq’s most violent rebel groups warned voters against taking part in crucial elections for a constitutional assembly on Jan. 30.
Soldiers of the 1st Infantry Division detained the suspects during a midnight raid in Duluiyah, 45 miles north of Baghdad, codenamed Operation Powder River, the U.S. military said.

The US and Iraqi forces withheld notice of Abu Marwan’s capure for six days, a normal procedure that allows for confusion and surprise when dealing with terrorist networks. It also allows for American intelligence agents to interrogate the detainees. The two events may not be connected, but the coincidence certainly appears provocative.

Ohio Recount Partisans Want Another Round On The House

After having blown $1.5 million of Ohio taxpayer money on a recount that resulted in a 0.27% adjustment to George Bush’s margin of victory, Buckeye State voters might expect that the idiots who pushed for the recount would go away quietly. Unfortunately, idiots by definition notoriously learn lessons the hard way:

Two third-party presidential candidates asked a federal court Thursday to force a second recount of the Ohio vote, alleging county election boards altered votes and didn’t follow proper procedures in the recount that ended this week.
Lawyers for Green Party candidate David Cobb and the Libertarian Party’s Michael Badnarik made their request in federal court in Columbus.
The two candidates, who received less than 0.3 percent of the Ohio vote, paid $113,600 for a statewide recount after the vote was certified earlier this month by the secretary of state. They have said they don’t expect to change the election results, but want to make sure that every vote is proply counted.

Ohio has to be getting tired of paying for the selfish indulgence of a couple of minor-party stooges acting as fronts for the Democrats and the Kerry campaign. They want to have as many recounts as necessaary in order to (a) delegitimize Bush’s solid victory, and (b) manufacture enough votes to reverse it. At the rate we’re going — 300 votes every two months — in 2084, John Kerry will be declared the winner.

Even In Tsunamis, The Scum Rises To The Top; Let’s Beat Them To The Money

Sometimes it seems that human avarice and maliciousness know no bounds. The New York Sun reports today on a number of websites that have sprung up for fundraising in connection to tsunami relief, but these show no connection to known and trusted charitable organizations:

On eBay, sellers are hawking Pez dispensers, a gold necklace, a stuffed mouse, and a “hand-carved” Buddha statue with the promise that proceeds from the auctions will go directly to charities assisting the victims of the tsunami in Asia.
Visitors to tsunamireliefaid.com are directed to a crudely constructed Web site with photographs of those who appear to be tsunami victims and instructions urging users to send relief packages and $10 checks to a P.O. box in Germantown, Md.
As major aid agencies around the globe undertake what could be the costliest and most complex relief effort ever, the catastrophe in South Asia has also given rise to hundreds of newly born charities purporting to raise money for victims. …
Many of these charities are anonymous and don’t have the imprimatur of philanthropic associations. It’s unclear if the fund-raisers mentioned above are legitimate. But according to those familiar with online fraud, people looking to donate to the tsunami victims ought to be extra wary of unfamiliar Internet sites and individuals collecting money or goods.

Make sure your generosity benefits those who truly need it and not someone who contributes to their deaths by stealing the relief the victims so desperately need. Contribute through recognized charities, ones that have had long records of success in getting help to people without stealing from them. Many now recommend World Vision for effective use of donated money and material.
CQ reader Jeff Carlson has an interesting suggestion — one that could make a verifiable charity very happy:

How about a “World Relief Day” where Americans can pledge/donate 1 days take home pay to relief of the disaster victims? A lot of employers might match it as well …
I suggest January 12th …

How about it, CQ readers? Does January 12th sound like a good day for our own World Relief Day, where we pledge our take-home pay for that day to tsunami relief? Jeff suggests Red Cross as a beneficiary (the Amazon link), but I think CQ readers might be more comfortable with World Vision. Post your comments and I’ll make the decision based on the feedback received. I’ll also have a blogroll posted on January 12th of the blogs that link back to it.
Let’s see what good we can do here.

Smearing All The Way

In their zeal to overturn the 118,000-vote victory for George Bush in Ohio, Democrats apparently don’t care what damage they do. Their latest conspiracy-theory victim is Ohio’s Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Thomas Moyer, accused by attorneys in the case of having secret knowledge of voter fraud:

A group of voters had claimed Chief Justice Thomas Moyer “wittingly or unwittingly acquired knowledge of deliberate national and statewide election fraud” and should step aside.
Moyer called the voters’ claim “wholly without foundation.” He added that he has no reason to remove himself since the challenge doesn’t involve his own election and he has nothing to gain by a change in the results. …
Cliff Arnebeck, an attorney representing the voters, said Wednesday said he was reviewing the documents Moyer referred to.
As to the chief justice’s refusal to remove himself, “the important thing about the judicial process is the concept that you have a neutral judge,” Arnebeck said. “It’s disappointing that doesn’t seem to be the priority here.”

Once again, the flat-Earthers looking to undermine the very substantial victory in Ohio have resorted to character assassination in order to feed the victim mythology their efforts intend to create. The first victim was Kenneth Blackwell who served as the Democrats’ bete noir for simply following Ohio election law. Since one smear job apparently isn’t enough, they intend on grinding Justice Moyer’s reputation into the ground, using nothing but innuendo and an unsupported whispering campaign.
Perhaps the Ohio Bar should look into the conduct of the attorneys in this case. Publicly denigrating the integrity of the court without any evidence of wrongdoing should result in some sort of sanction. In the meantime, Ohio voters should make clear to Democrats that this whining and post-election nonsense will result in sanctions in the next election — the kind that ends political careers.

Yanukovych Loses Three Of Four Challenges For Incompetence

The Ukrainian Supreme Court threw out three of current PM and election loser Viktor Yanukovych’s challenges to the runoff on the basis that he filed them incorrectly:

Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich’s dogged bid to overturn his liberal rival’s victory in Ukraine’s presidential election faltered on Thursday after the Supreme Court said it had thrown out all but one of his complaints. …
Supreme Court spokeswoman Liana Shlyaposhnikova said judges had now rejected three of four complaints from Yanukovich’s team concerning the organization of last Sunday’s re-run of the rigged Nov. 21 poll.
“Two complaints were not considered because the proper time frame for submitting them was not respected,” Shlyaposhnikova said. “One was turned down because the demands submitted by the plaintiff were not clearly drawn up.”

This strictly legalistic approach from a Supreme Court once considered in the bag of Yanukovych — when he had the favor of outgoing president Leonid Kuchma — bodes ill for the PM. Rather than allowing itself to get creative in order to find a way to help Yanukovych, it looks at this point as if they’re looking for any excuse to get him out of the way. It also doesn’t help that Yanukovych appears to know little about the laws governing election challenges. He knew he would file challenges to the new runoff almost as soon as it was scheduled; how could he not have prepared for it?
Yanukovych is on his way to becoming a lonely, pitiful sight in Ukrainian politics: abandoned by his friends and allies and a reminder of the corruption that almost sentenced Ukraine to another term of corruption and isolation. He’s stuck in political quicksand in that the more he struggles, the quicker his career seems to drown. Barring a last-minute miracle from the Supreme Court, which seems disinclined to offer any, he may be out as soon as this afternoon.
UPDATE: Yanikovych also lost in the formerly-loyal Central Election Commission as well:

The Central Election Commission on Thursday rejected Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych’s appeal of the presidential revote, saying he had not proved there were any mass violations, a commission member said.
“Evidence submitted in the claim does not prove mass violations” and could not “influence or effect the results of the vote,” said commission member Marina Tsavniychuk, reading from the commission’s decision.

Yanukovych can now only appeal this decision to the Supreme Court — the same one that appears to want as much distance between themselves and Yanukovych as possible.
UPDATE: He’s 0-for-4 now:

Ukraine’s Supreme Court has rejected all four complaints against the conduct of the presidential election lodged by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

All Yanukovych has left is the appeal of the earlier CEC decision. After that, it’s checkmate for the nonvictorious Viktor. (hat tip: King Banaian)

AP: Tsunami Toll Now Over 114,000

The AP now reports that new estimates of deaths in Sumatra has pushed the aggregate death toll from the massive Asian tsunamis to over 114,000, expanding one of the worst natural disasters of all time:

The death toll from last weekend’s earthquake-tsunami catastrophe rose to more than 114,000 on Thursday as Indonesia uncovered more and more dead from ravaged Sumatra island, where pilots dropped food to remote villages still unreachable by rescue workers. A false alarm that new killer waves were about to hit sparked panic in India, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
The increase came after Indonesia reported nearly 28,000 newly confirmed dead in Sumatra, which was closest to the epicenter of last weekend’s massive earthquake and was overwhelmed by the tsunami that followed. Some 60 percent of Banda Aceh, the main city in northern Sumatra was destroyed, the U.N. children’s agency estimated, and 115 miles of the island’s northwest coast – lined with villages – was inundated.
Indonesia, with around 80,000 dead, was the worst hit, followed by Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. The total across 12 nations in southern Asia and East Africa was likely to rise, with thousands still missing and fears that disease could bring a new wave of deaths.

The tsunamis caused massive damage to sewage systems, spilling raw sewage into water systems and in the general flooding. Rescue workers and aid agencies fear that the dysentery caused by this may double or triple current casualty estimates, not to mention other diseases such as typhoid or e. Coli outbreaks. The corpses lining the streets under the hot tropical sun will only make the disease worse, and right now fuel supplies have run so low even ambulances have to ration gasoline.
While we may not necessarily be looking at a “lost generation” in the Indian Ocean area, the nations will take years if not decades to recover, economically and socially, by the devastation. The West needs to step up and assist as much as possible in order to prevent a massive destabilization of the social and political order. This may be most important in Indonesia, a rare Islamic democracy that has already been pressured by Islamists to institute shari’a as a legal code and move towards a Taliban-like government. Indonesians had thus far resisted the pressure. With the devastation now experienced by the Indonesians, groups like Hamas have an opening to move in and provide assistance — and gain a huge political advantage from it.
We’ve argued about the nature of Western stinginess the past couple of days. The West needs to comprehend the nature of this disaster and how it can be compounded exponentially by the war on terror, and approach the rescue efforts as part of our combat strategy.